2018 ASTHO Annual Meeting: A Look Ahead

June 14, 2018|10:52 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Amber WilliamsRegistration opened last week for ASTHO’s 2018 Annual Meeting. The meeting, happening Sept. 26-27 in Alexandria, VA, convenes over 300 public health leaders to discuss emerging trends in state and territorial public health, with this year’s theme focusing on building healthy and resilient communities. With the conference just a few months away, Amber Williams, ASTHO’s chief of leadership, governance, and state and territorial engagement, took a moment to answer a few questions about what to expect from this year’s meeting.

What sets ASTHO’s Annual Meeting apart from other meetings held throughout the year?

ASTHO’s 2018 Annual Meeting is the premier public health event of the year. As the largest gathering of state and territorial health officials, federal public health officials, academic leaders, private sector health industry executives, and leading public health nonprofit agencies, this meeting provides an opportunity to be inspired by leaders in the field, learn new approaches to public health challenges, reconnect with friends and colleagues, as well as develop new connections, earn CMEs, and be reinvigorated for the critical public health work at home.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference in September?

We’ve lined up prominent and thought-provoking speakers including Larry Sabato, who leads Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nationally recognized, nonpartisan weekly online political newsletter at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. In addition, we have Soledad O’Brien, an award-winning journalist and news anchor, who will discuss storytelling and public health. Check out all of our keynote speakers here. Our special event this year will take place in partnership with George Washington University, including a panel discussion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. The event will be live broadcast nationwide.

What is one insight or takeaway you hope attendees will gain from attending the annual meeting?

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Building Healthy and Resilient Communities," which also serves as the theme for the 2019 President’s Challenge, named by ASTHO President-Elect Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. We hope attendees will take away ideas on how to support the development of community-led, place-based initiatives to improve health through a focus on socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health within their own states.

What should attendees check out when they are in Alexandria? 

Alexandria is a beautiful city, including the nearby King Street Mile, with brick-lined streets, cobblestone alleys, and a free trolley. Meeting attendees can easily take a cruise to Nationals Park for a baseball game on the Baseball Boat or to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The culinary scene is impressive, including a number of waterfront restaurants at Old Town’s marina. Alexandria sits mere steps away from downtown D.C., so we also hope members will take time to meet with their congressional members to share new efforts, priorities, and challenges, as well as continue building relationships.